Finance

Oil prices regain some ground, but oversupply weighs

Oil prices regain some ground, but oversupply weighs

USA crude futures CLc1 settled down $1.97 to $50.44 a barrel, a 3.8 percent drop, the biggest one-day decline since March 8. Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston, said some in the market were concerned about the rapid recovery in shale production."Perhaps the amount coming out of the ground might be more than we anticipate", he said.

USA gasoline inventories hit 259.1 MMbbls for the week ending February 10, 2017-the highest level ever.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $50.56 a barrel. Brent crude settled down 3.6 percent, or $1.96 a barrel, to $52.93.U.S. crude stocks fell 1 million barrels in the latest week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said, a smaller draw than expected.

"The domestic increases continue to not only offset overseas production cuts, but potentially more importantly, they also weigh on OPEC's morale as they are watching market share continue to slip away as a result of their own policy actions", he said in his latest report.

Elsewhere in the energy spectrum, May gasoline tacked on 0.4% to $1.666 a gallon and May heating oil edged up by 0.1% to $1.583 a gallon.

1 officer shot, killed, another injured in Paris, reports say
President Donald Trump offered condolences to the people of France during a joint news conference with the Italian prime minister. The shooting comes three days before French general elections and Paris was already in a state of heightened alert.

James Williams, president of energy consultant WTRG Economics in London, Arkansas, said the minister's bullish statement did not lift prices much because of growing US shale production.

US crude stocks fell last week as refineries hiked output, but gasoline supplies, which are already seasonally high, surprisingly increased, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

"At 532.3 million barrels, United States crude oil inventories are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year".

OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signaled that an effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russian Federation, to cut oil output was likely to be extended beyond June. "Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.5 million barrels last week, and are near the upper limit of the average range", said the report. Distillate stocks reached their lowest levels since November 2015, the EIA said.

Slight production reported Wednesday also reinforced widespread anxiety that US shale producers are becoming more capable in churning out oil at a lower price, analysts say.


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